1978. Directed by Richard Marquand

A Wheatley-esque film with strange power-laden people gathered at a remote house and seemingly in cahoots with the sable master.  There is no impetus to the film, but it does have a steady hold on the viewer with some subtle sinisterism thrown into the mix. 

The plot basically revolves around an American couple, namely Margaret Walsh (Katherine Ross) and Pete Danner (Sam Elliott) who are drawn to a British mansion whilst visiting these shores in the hopes of getting some interior decorating work.  The bike they are riding around on becomes involved in an accident and they are taken back to the home of one Jason Mountolive (John Standing).  Mr Mountolive is fine and dandy one minute, and then seen to be labouring the next with Margaret and Pete informed that he is a dying man.  Jason receives his guest in his sterilised hospital-like bedroom, he lies behind shrouded curtains and calls Margaret to his bedside where a vile hand reaches out and puts a ring on her finger.  The ring has significance, the other 5 guests whom we are introduced to all bear the same item of jewellery, it seems Margaret's arrival on the scene is not so coincidental after all.  From here we witness several deaths, learn that one of the guests is the chosen one, the one who will inherit all the wealth and power when Jason finally dies - but where does this power come from?

was rather absorbed by this film, but do regard it as a flick to watch now and again.  The pace is slow and steady and the tale far from original, but the stealthy approach has weight and the characters are rather convincing.



1964. Directed by Terence Fisher

A film with a fantastical title that leaves one salivating in anticipation, but a film that fails to deliver the goods and comes across as yet another cheapo construction done in double-quick time.  The elements of survival though keep one enthralled despite the flimsiness of the construct.

An English village is the scene of a catastrophe with the area laden with seemingly dead bodies.  A small group of survivors come together with the self-appointed leader being American jet test pilot, Jeff Nolan (Willard Parker).  It seems a strange chemical attack has wiped out most of the earth's populace, caused no doubt, by the robotic space figures seen prowling the streets.  One of the group, namely Violet Courtland (Vanda Godsell), thinks the robots have come to rescue them, but after making a mad dash to meet them she is duly struck down - so much for that idea then.  The group are now on high alert and things go up a notch when the recovered body of Violet rises and she is seen as a white-eyed zombie, controlled by the robotic forces who have plans to take over the Earth.  The race to escape increases from here, the actors are called upon to rise above mode 'dodgy' - can we dare hope for any semblance of success.

For lovers of the B-movie this will meet many needs, for those looking for flashy trimmings and hi-tech effects there will be much disappointment.  For me, the potential has not been fully tapped and things, nowadays, appear a little too obvious.  The fact is though I enjoyed it and will do so again, such is the curse of the B-movie addiction.


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